Employee News - April 28, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News


Showing up for community in a time of confusion and need  

King County employees are finding new ways to serve their community during the COVID-19 outbreak by applying for temporary assignments through the Emergency Deployment Program 

Josephine Wong, whose regular job is as the Deputy Director of the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), is temporarily overseeing one of the County’s isolation and quarantine locations for individuals who cannot safely self-quarantine or isolate in their own home, or do not have a home. Her position oversees employees who have deployed through the program as an Emergency Site Worker IV. 

“This program is saving lives and preventing infections, flattening the curve to give more time for our healthcare system to respond, and this is how we can show up for our community in a time of confusion and need,” Josephine said. “This program helps people safely isolate, heal, and return to their community.” 

Read more and see some photos about the work Josephine and other employees are doing, and watch the video below to learn more. 


Public records during COVID-19 

COVID-19 has changed so much about the way we work, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that we are stewards of the public’s records. As such, we must maintain both good records management practices and provide timely responses to requests for public records, whether those come from the public directly, or through a public records officer (PRO) or coordinator. King County’s Executive Branch has received over 100 public records requests specific to COVID-19. The PROs coordinating these requests are working to collect responsive records as efficiently as possible while trying to minimize disruptions to the important work that is being done under uncommon conditions. 

One such condition is that many County employees are telecommuting, and in some cases using their own personal equipment to perform their job duties. It’s important to remember that every record you create, receive, or use to conduct County business is subject to the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56), which ensures transparency in government through broad disclosure of public records. The definition of a record is all encompassing, including but not limited to, text messages, emails, photos, notes, files, word documents, etc.  Records subject to disclosure include those created in the conduct of County business within the scope of your employment, whether created on personal devices (e.g., phones, tablets, computers, etc.) and/or in personal accounts (e.g., email, social media, etc.).  

Wherever possible, you are encouraged to create and retain records within the County’s systems (as accessed through Office 365 or VPN) and not locally on personal devices or through personal accounts. Please reach out to your department’s PRO immediately if you receive a public records request, and please be as responsive as possible to your PROs if they reach out to you for records.  


Self-care for telecommuters living with partners and roommates 

As efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic continue, many people feel confused and overwhelmed. Staying indoors through isolation contributes to this feeling, and may be exacerbated by our living arrangements. Balanced You has provided self-care tips for telecommuting employees living with children at home. It is important to also note that telecommuters who live with partners and roommates have their own unique experiences. 

Quarantining at home with other adults has its rewards and challenges. Balanced You is here to support you in maintaining healthy relationships with roommates and partners, as well as your own physical and emotional health, during this pandemic, and has written this blog with self-care tips and resources to help you.


Check out our telecommuting resources site   

The Department of Human Resources has launched a new site with information and resources for employees who have started telecommuting as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The site provides information on tools, health and wellness, and learning employees can do from home. It also has a section for supervisors and managers about managing employees remotely.  

Employees are encouraged to talk to their supervisor if they would like to engage in lengthy trainings during work time. Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible and allow employees to attend online training if their workload allows. The trainings on the new website are free or low cost. Supervisors should be familiar with the process for approving training and any associated costs within their departments and divisions.  

View the telecommuting resources site and learn more about working from home, and staying connected and engaged. 


Self-care Toolkit for King County First Responders and Essential Personnel 

First Responders and Essential Personnel are employees who report to work during an emergency. These employees are often under extreme stress as they adapt their work in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

To support these employees in managing stress and caring for their own-well-being, Balanced You has developed a Self-care Toolkit for First Responders and Essential Personnel. In this toolkit, which is designed to be printed or read electronically, you will find resources on: 

  • Physical health 
  • Burnout and secondary traumatic stress 
  • Mental health resources and stress reduction techniques 
  • Tips for integrating well-being into the workday 

The toolkit can be downloaded at the Balanced You blog. Please help us in distributing this toolkit via email and print to King County’s First Responders and Essential Personnel. 

family friends

Not seeing friends and family is hard, but it’s worth it 

Grandparents miss cuddling their grandbabies. Teens miss hangouts and deep talks with their closest friends. We miss seeing our siblings and cousins, best friends, barbers, co-workers, teachers, and gym buddies. Everyone is feeling the strain from the lack of in-person interaction that makes life rich and full. COVID-19 is taking a toll, and we all want life to get back to normal and to spend time together face-to-face. 

As much as we yearn to see our loved ones, there’s a lot at stake if we let go of the stay home measure prematurely. People living in King County and the state of Washington deserve so much credit for the sacrifices they’ve made in staying home. Our actions have proven that we can slow COVID-19 down and save lives. Now we need to protect those gains and prevent a sudden increase in illness. Read more.  


Vanpools for just 2+ riders available for essential workers 

To support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, King County Metro is offering essential workers the opportunity to form temporary vanpools with as few as two riders. 

Metro Vanpool is a commuter service using Metro vans for small groups of people – normally five or more coworkers, friends, or neighbors – with a similar origin or destination. Read more.   


Third payday of the month, April 30

Almost all King County employees get paid on a biweekly basis, every other Thursday, resulting in 26 pay periods per year. You usually receive two paychecks per month, but April 30 will be your third payday of the month. 

The net dollar amount of these “third” paychecks may be larger because not all deductions are taken out. For example, Deferred Compensation, supplemental insurance premiums, Benefit Access Fees, and Employee Giving donations are not deducted from these checks. 

For more information about your paycheck, go to Payroll or speak with your department Payroll representative or timekeeper. 

Learning about your benefits: Life and disability insurance 

In this short video, learn about the life and disability insurance options available to you as a new employee, during qualifying life events, and during Open Enrollment. 

This video is part of a short created to help employees make informed choices about their options, and better understand their employee benefits package. View all the videos here, and get more information and resources on the Benefits, Payroll and Retirement website. 


Featured job: Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner - COVID-19 Response Recovery Centers 

Salary: $42.69 - $60.09 Hourly 

Location: Multiple locations in King County, WA 

Job Type: Short Term Temporary, Part Time, Std Wkly Hrs Vary 

Department: DPH - Public Health 

Job Number: 2020NH11611 

Division: Community Health Services 

Closing: Continuous 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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